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### The Dilemma of Survival

Here is Marisa and my class handout along with our own thoughts about what would happen...enjoy!

You are a passenger on a cruise ship travelling from San Francisco to Hawaii.  In the midst of the Pacific Ocean, a disastrous combination of severe storms and engine failure cause the ship to sink.  In the ship’s final moments, you and four others scrambled aboard a sailing safety raft. The others who made it aboard are a pregnant woman and her 5-year old son, a 30-year old male crewmember and a 70-year old woman.  Using the crewmember’s extensive knowledge of calculating speed and the winds, he determines that you will reach land in 40 days.

Information to Consider -- The young boy and the mother are a unified, family alliance and the boy and the unborn baby would normally have the longest to live if they can survive.  The 70-year old woman is a trained nurse who knows how to effectively use the medical kit and could also aid the woman with her pregnancy. The man’s nautical experience can most aid the ship in arriving safely at its destination. As another person onboard, what will your contribution be?

Available Resources:
*The emergency raft includes sufficient food and medical supplies for 4 people for two weeks at sea and enough water for 40 days. (Note that a Person can live 4-6 weeks without any food.)
240 liters/63 gallons of water – Take into account that an active person typically needs ½ gallon or 1.5 liters of water to survive.  However, in a survival situation, both pregnant women and children need more water.
56 Emergency food bars
28 Biscuits
4 blankets
1 medical kit (4 packets of rehydration salts, band-aids, aspirin, gauze dressing, scissors)
1 rope

Food for Thought:
Everyone will ultimately die if the resources are divided up equally.  Therefore, one person must go without food and water in order for the others to survive.  Who goes?  How is this decision made? Should you form alliances, or act individually?  Should anyone get priority over the food and water?

Questions for Class:
1) Based on what we’ve learned from the Donner Party and Ahab’s Wife, what would realistically happen?
2) What would be the fair thing to do? Can you find a win-win solution?

Our possible solutions
Win-Win/Ideal
1)    The older woman should be the person to die because she has already lived the longest and her skills are not particularly valuable with the limited supplies available in the medical kit.
2)    Everyone should draw straws to decide who survives so that there is no discrimination against age or ability.  Therefore the decision would be made at random. (The negative consequence could be the death of a person who plays an integral role in the group reaching safety.)
3)    In order to save the others, one person could potentially decide to sacrifice his or herself, so there would be no decision of who to kill.
4)    Although possibly too optimistic, other boats often travel within shipping lanes.  Another boat might rescue them appear before anyone dies.
Realistic:
1)    Realistically, we think that the family would survive because they would band together.  Also, it would be in the interests of the group to keep the crewmember alive since he possesses the knowledge for the raft to arrive safely ashore.